Former prison official admits to planting screwdrivers in inmate’s cell

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Prison guard

Juan Jackson, a former major in the Texas correctional officer system, received a four-year probated sentence after pleading guilty this week to a felony tampering charge, the Houston Chronicle reported. 

Jackson is one of four Ramsey Unit prison officials indicted last July in connection with an evidence-planting scheme. Jackson admitted he conspired to plant screwdrivers in an inmate’s cell in 2018 at a Brazoria County prison.

Former sergeant Marcus Gallego, another of the indicted officers, pleaded guilty last year and agreed to the same deferred adjudication deal. The Chronicle reported that if the men comply with the conditions of their supervision, abide by curfew rules, completed 120 hours of community service and pay a $1,500 fine, they won’t be sent to prison and their records will be expunged.

The other two former officers allegedly involved in the scheme, James Thomas and George Wolfe, haven’t entered pleas and could still go to trial. 

The chargers were filed in Brazoria County last year after the Texas Department of Criminal Justice investigated a quota system that required officers to write up inmates for infractions or risk facing disciplinary measures themselves, the newspaper reported. TDCJ said the evidence planting was unconnected to the quota system, but Jackson was involved in both.

That quota system was revealed by the Chronicle in May after the newspaper obtained emails sent by Capt. Reginald Gilbert ordering officers to write up prisoners for specific infractions.

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